Hospitals, clinics and community health centers in rural Maine will receive more than $131 million to help their efforts in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King said in a joint statement Friday that the money will go to 121 rural health care providers, many of them struggling to stay open because patients without COVID-19 are delaying care and canceling elective services.

“Keeping the doors open to rural hospitals is critical to helping protect the health of residents in the surrounding communities,” they said in a joint statement. “This funding will provide crucial support to rural medical providers at a time of enormous stress on our health care system.”

The statement said rural hospitals providing acute care and critical access will receive a minimum of $1 million with additional funds based on operating expenses.

In early April, Maine hospitals and other health care providers received an infusion of nearly $146 million from the CARES Act, which earmarked $100 billion for health care providers.

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